Sunday, February 8, 2009

"Useless...useless." Thanks Boston Corbett.

You know, I never understood those people who spent their lives trying to figure out which passenger slept in which stateroom on the Titanic.

But hey, it looks almost useful compared to the apparently large number of people who have tried to figure out the geography of Dante's Hell.

No, seriously. The passages concerning Dante and Virgil turning left or right, or scaling or descending some slope...these have huge notes attached explaining how this scholar or that one figured out the shape of hell from these. I'm sad there's no tiny and detailed map in the front of my book.

But really, did people just get bored of studying everything else about the poem and turn to this, which seems so insignificant? Does anyone glean anything new and meaningful from the Inferno simply by knowing that hell is shaped like a bowl (or whatever. It's not shaped like a bowl. Ignore me.)

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